Former NAACP head: 'We must stop’ Sessions as AG

Former NAACP head: 'We must stop’ Sessions as AG

Civil rights leader Ben Jealous is calling for a fight to block President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's pick of Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE (R-Ala.) to be attorney general.

The former leader of the NAACP said in a Friday tweet that Sessions "has no respect for the Constitution."

We must stop Sessions bid to be AG! He has no respect for the Constitution let alone most Americans #OurRevolution https://t.co/IEwPv4wLMI

— Ben Jealous (@BenJealous) November 18, 2016
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Trump announced Friday his pick of Sessions to be attorney general.

“Jeff has been a highly respected member of the U.S. Senate for 20 years,” Trump said in a statement. “He is a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and U.S. Attorney in the state of Alabama. Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”

Sessions said he was “humbled” by the selection.

“My previous 15 years working in the Department of Justice were extraordinarily fulfilling. I love the Department, its people and its mission. I can think of no greater honor than to lead them.”

President Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to be a U.S. District judge in 1986. But after testimony that he called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union "un-American" and the Ku Klux Klan "OK, until [I] learned they smoked marijuana," his nomination was withdrawn.

Sessions has vehemently denied the claims, but Democrats are already pointing to the accusations as disqualifying.

Defenders of Sessions argue he has a better record on civil rights than he receives credit for.

Supporters point to his vote in favor the 30-year extension of the Civil Rights Act, for example, or multiple desegregation lawsuits he filed as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama.
 
Sessions in April 1999, meanwhile, lead efforts to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks, a civil rights icon and Alabama native.

Sessions needs majority support in the Senate to be confirmed. The GOP is expected to have 52 seats in the chamber after next month's Louisiana runoff election.

Jealous served as the NAACP’s leader from 2008 to 2012. He was a vocal supporter of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (I-Vt.) during this year’s Democratic presidential primary.